Monterey, California

Looking for the best hiking in Monterey? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Monterey. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Hiking Spots in and near Monterey

  • Big Sur, California

    Hike the Andrew Molera State Park Loop

    4.5
    8.8 mi / 1100 ft gain
    The loops starts at the Andrew Molera State Park parking lot (4.5 miles north of the entrance to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park along Highway 1). Begin by crossing the Big Sur River using the seasonal bridge. If the bridge has been removed, you will need to cross the water by foot. Usually the water...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Hike the East Molera Trail

    3.2 mi / 1390 ft gain
    Housed in Andrew Molera State Park, the East Molera Trail is easily accessible from Highway 1 with parking and restrooms available to hikers. A $10.00 entry fee is required but also provides entrance to Pfieffer Big Sur State Park just a few miles down the road.The trail head is located east of t...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp at Ventana Campground, Big Sur

    4.6
    This campground is a gem when it comes to Big Sur camping, book here. Each site includes a parking spot, a campfire ring with grill, a picnic table, and plenty of space for 1-2 tents. There are multiple immaculate restroom facilities with showers, clean trash enclosures (emptied and sanitized dai...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Hike to Pfeiffer Falls

    4.0
    2 mi
    This trail is a staff favorite at Big Sur. This family-friendly waterfall trail provides only a moderate challenge for young children and older family members. There are two starting points for this hike depending on where you stashed the car. If you’re parked near the gift shop, the head up the ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Sykes Hot Springs via Pine Ridge Trail

    4.2
    18.96 mi / 7339 ft gain
    The trek to Sykes Hot Springs is about 10-miles one way along the Pine Ridge Trail. This is a great backpacking trip, but can be done as an out-and-back hike from the campgrounds at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park if you're really moving. The trail is moderately challenging, you'll cross the river t...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Pine Ridge, North Coast Ridge Loop

    2.0
    33.45 mi / 11388 ft gain
    If you are looking to do some backpacking in the Big Sur area, you've come to the right place. This post shares a suggested 4-day backpacking loop in the Ventana Wilderness that will offer a bit of everything - challenging hiking with a healthy does of elevation, beautiful primitive camping amon...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Big Sur River Gorge

    4.7
    0.36 mi / 56 ft gain
    If you are in the Big Sur area during the summer, exploring the Big Sur River Gorge is a must! The gorge is located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and your closest parking will be day use parking lot 3. The trailhead to the gorge can be found at the northeast end of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park C...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Pfeiffer Beach

    4.0
    0.81 mi / 75 ft gain
    Pfeiffer Beach located in Big Sur may truly be one of the most awesome beaches in California...if you can find it. I lived within 40 miles of this beach for over 20 years and just discovered it recently. This beach is located on an unmarked road called Sycamore Canyon Road. On Highway 1, this roa...
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  • Capitola, California

    New Brighton Beach Trail

    0.85 mi / 112 ft gain
    New Brighton Beach Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you past scenic surroundings located near Aptos, California.
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  • Capitola, California

    Camp at New Brighton Campground

    / 0 ft gain
    This Capitola camping spot is the place to be if you're looking to do a variety of activities in a variety of landscapes. You can swim, fish, or explore the nearby forest of Monterey Pine and coastal Oak. In the evening, walk into Capitola for live music and great fish tacos.  The S.S. Palo Alto,...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Hike Natural Bridges to Lighthouse Field

    3.5
    4.8 mi / 121 ft gain
    This is a paved trail that can be used for hiking, jogging, or walking.  It offers over 2 miles of beautiful California coast.  Walk through flowers, see the jagged cliffs, and of course the lighthouse at the end!  This walk can be done from either direction.  Start at Natural Bridges and head We...
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  • Aptos, California

    Hike to Nisene Marks' Maple Falls

    4.6
    8.5 mi / 900 ft gain
    As you enter the park, you'll need to pay $8 for parking via a self-pay envelope, so it's recommended that you bring exact change. At the park booth, be sure to grab a map. The hike can be a little tricky with no cell service and limited trail signage. Once you've grabbed your map, keep driving p...
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  • Aptos, California

    Bridge Creek Trail to Maple Falls

    7.99 mi / 1089 ft gain
    Bridge Creek Trail to Maple Falls is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Aptos, California.
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  • Soquel, California

    Land of Medicine Buddha Loop

    4.5
    5.74 mi / 915 ft gain
    Near the retreat, there is a short trail called "Eight Verses Pilgrimage Trail" providing people with the opportunity to meditate on thought transformation in a peaceful and picturesque outdoor setting. From there, a beautiful 6 mile loop will take you up to the top of the ridge and then back aro...
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  • Santa Cruz, California

    Hike the Rincon Fire Trail

    5.0
    1 mi / 300 ft gain
    The Rincon Fire Trail Starts at a small dirt parking lot next to CA-9 and traverses down the mountain to the San Lorenzo River Connecting with the Pipeline Trail. The trail can be a simple one of a mile out and back or up to 5 miles depending on your preference. The elevation will change by about...
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  • Santa Cruz County, California

    Camp at Henry Cowell Redwoods Campground

    4.8
    / 665 ft gain
    Nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is a great weekend option for Bay Area residents. With approximately 30 miles of hiking trails, the incredible Garden of Eden swimming hole, and proximity to Santa Cruz - this campground is not to be missed! On sunny days, view...
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